Cultural, social, and aesthetic attitudes towards waistlines will be explored through men’s and women’s clothing, both outerwear and underwear. Beautiful examples of fashionable garments which both freed and constricted the waist will be on show, as well as pieces of original foundation-wear essential for achieving the correct silhouette.
Highlights include a stunning ‘sack-back’ gown from the 1770s, a man’s suit from the 1780s, examples of women’s high-waisted Regency clothing, an exquisite girl’s dress from 1850, an 1880s day gown, a flapper dress from the 1920s and lovely examples of 1950s ‘New Look’ styles. The foundation wear includes corsets from a variety of eras, an Edwardian man’s corset, a 1920s bust bodice (designed to flatten the chest) and a ‘Waspie’ corset from the 1950s.
The majority of the pieces are selected from the Olive Matthews Collection of dress which is housed at Chertsey Museum.
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